All badges are global across the SE network (except for some Area51-specific ones) however each site is different so is it possible to have some site-specific badges created aimed at encouraging useful content on each site?

I'm not fully aware of the various site-specific content available on other SE sites, but speaking on the site I'm part of (ux.stackexchange.com) we have a feature where Balsamiq mockups can be posted directly within questions / answers. These greatly enhance the question as there is only so much you can get over with a textual description of an interface layout. However this feature isn't utilized as much as it could be. I'm starting to lose count of the number of comments we are leaving against posts stating 'can you provide a screen mockup so we can understand what you're referring to' or suchlike. By having a badge available such as 'create a Balsamiq mockup for a question' or 'Create a balsamiq mockup for an answer' it should hypothetically help encourage people to use this feature, thereby enhancing and potentially improving the question / answer quality.

I'm sure other sites have specific features available to them that are in place to improve the quality of questions/answers, so is it possible (or recommended) to provide site-specific badges to help update of these features?

How these badges would be chosen (and by whom) and what would qualify for achieving them is a different issue really, my question is mostly around whether or not it is possible - or even recommended - to have site-specific badges.

  • I don't think they will. Badges that are impossible to get are currently shown.
    – bjb568
    Dec 24, 2014 at 21:55

3 Answers 3


It be nice if they implemented this and then were able to remove impossible badges like precognitive on Stack Overflow & Meta.


This is a proposed implementation based on what I know of the badge system (which does not include knowledge of the source code).

Badges are currently awarded by scripts that run automatically -- sometimes nightly, sometimes every few minutes. I don't think it's going to be feasible to add 130+ special-purpose scripts to that set of jobs, but maybe one new nightly script could be added: the "award site-specific badge" script. What would that script do? It would execute a data query and award badges based on the results.

The moderators of the site would have control of the query, the same way they do with custom close reasons, certain help-center pages, and restricted meta tags like "faq". As with these other things, it would be up to the community to reach consensus on what the badge scripts should be; moderators are approvers, not sole authors. (Moderators are not required to be SEDE experts.) I am proposing a single custom badge per site, not "as many as you can somehow jam into that query".

I'm suggesting a query because, with SEDE, anybody (who learns SEDE) can develop and test candidate badge scripts. Part of putting a custom badge in place would be writing, testing, and showing preliminary results -- if we had this badge, what would its awards be?

Constraining the badge by what can be expressed through SEDE places reasonable bounds on it. It also prevents possible privacy violations; for example, no badges based on voting patterns would be possible. To the specific example in this question, you'll need to be able to detect the Balsamiq mockup in the post body; the post body is available, so you should be able to do that.

If a query is too complex and it times out, no badges for you -- it's up to sites to keep these to a reasonable load (whatever SE determines is reasonable).

To minimize UI impact (profile, notifications, badge pages, etc) and user confusion ("what the heck is this 'salad dressing' badge?"), I suggest naming the badge "(sitename) custom badge", with the description containing a link to the meta post that explains the badge. The submission from the moderators could include a proposed "short description" for the tooltip.

Finally, the badge would be bronze (no matter how easy or hard it is to earn) and there would only be one; this isn't an opening for site-specific badge hierarchies.

  • Would multiple badges for the same site end up with the same name? Dec 31, 2014 at 20:20
  • And I like most of this, but why only bronze? Dec 31, 2014 at 20:23
  • I'm proposing one custom badge per site, and fixing it at bronze to keep things from getting out of hand. I don't think we want sites to be able to add 17 different, special badges just for them; I'm trying to satisfy the request while also not making excessive demands on the devs. (Also users.) I've edited slightly. Dec 31, 2014 at 20:34
  • Ah I missed that. I get it now. Maybe just one set of bronze-silver-gold? Dec 31, 2014 at 20:36
  • If I were an SE dev I would probably code it defensively, so that other levels could be added later if needed. And if I were a community manager I'd try to keep it down to one per site until I saw clear benefit to expanding. I'm specifying the interface, not the implementation. :-) Dec 31, 2014 at 20:37
  • So if this answer isn't accepted, does that mean it didn't go anywhere (feature wasn't implemented)?
    – NH.
    Sep 12, 2017 at 19:59
  • @NH. it didn't go anywhere -- or if it did, it didn't go far enough to be visible to us users. A lot of feature requests never make it for various reasons. I don't know what happened to this one -- possibly insufficient demand/need. Sep 12, 2017 at 20:15

Personally, I think what would be really awesome would be if site-specific badges could be implemented, but under a different type entirely. You can already receive bronze, silver, and gold badges, but what if above gold badges there were Ruby Badges (which would follow a red scheme)?

These badges could be site specific, proposed by the communities, and approved by a minimum of xx% of the moderators.

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